Two steps forward and one step backward pretty much describes what has taken place with the destruction of Damascus (Isa. 17) and the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39) in the last couple of weeks.
The fulfillment of God’s Word is definitely moving forward but there are setbacks. Things are definitely advancing in the direction that God said they will go, but it is herky-jerky or irregular.
The first step forward concerns the war between Syria and Israel at the end of the age. The Bible says Damascus will cease to exist as a city in one night (Isa. 17:1, 14).
When that happens Ephraim (northern Israel) will suffer great damage (Isa. 17:3) and the glory of Jacob (Israel) will be weakened and many Jews will go hungry (Isa. 17:4).
It will be a terrible event, but good will come from it because a man will “look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 17:7). War that causes people to accept Jesus is not all bad.
This prophecy advanced when Turkey shot down a Russian jet in late November. Russia’s Defense Minister responded by announcing plans to deploy a battery of sophisticated S-400 missiles to Syria to protect Russia’s planes.
Some in Israel see these missiles as a game-changer because they can shoot down Israeli planes flying over northern and central Israel. They expose northern Israel to the kind of danger prophesied in the Bible.
The second step forward concerns the stationing of Russian and Iranian planes in Syria. When the battle of Gog and Magog takes place, God said, “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ezek. 38:9).
Many, including this writer, think “like a cloud to cover the land” refers to jets, bombers and helicopters. We believe the Russian-led forces will fill the skies over Israel with aircraft.
When Russia first started moving planes into Syria Russia sent in 34 bombers and several helicopters. In the next four or five weeks, Russia more than doubled the number of bombers to 69. The growing number of planes indicates a plan to expand the war.
In addition to this, DEBKAfile reported that Iran has sent dozens of planes to Syria to escort Russian bombers (First Iranian fighter jets over Syria alongside Russian bombers; Nov. 22, 2015.) The report said some of these planes are operating near Syria’s border with Israel.
That is a no, no. And the fact that Russia may have sent in missiles that can shoot down Israel’s jets makes it very dangerous for northern Israel. Israel’s use of a big bomb or a powerful missile is not inconceivable.
The step backward concerns Turkey’s downing of the Russian plane. Not all agree, but many think Togarmah of the north quarters is Turkey. If this is right, Turkey will be on Russia’s side in the Battle of Gog and Magog.
But Turkey’s downing of the Russian plane has provoked a harsh response from Russia. Mr. Putin quickly suspended cooperation with Turkey’s military, threatened economic retaliation, suggested that Russian citizens should leave Turkey, started bombing Turkish sites and allies in Syria, started jamming some Turkish electronic military communications and started destroying trucks that have been delivering stolen oil that Turkey was illegally buying from the Islamic State.
On the other side, Pres. Erdogan has warned Russia not to play with fire and there have been at least two reports that Turkey may be interfering with the movement of some Russian merchant ships and the ships in Russia’s Black Sea fleet. It is an explosive situation that Russia most surely will not tolerate and it could drag in NATO and touch off a nuclear war.
It is difficult to say what will happen. The two will have to make up in a hurry or it will be a while before the battle of Gog and Magog takes place.
Anyway, the problem between Russia and Turkey is a step backward, but the introduction of Russian missiles that can hit northern Israel and the buildup of planes from Russia and Iran are two signs that Bible prophecy is still moving toward the predicted scenario.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck